Announcing: Ngamsang, Sirirat and John Walsh, “Sino-Thai Relations in Historical Perspective: The Implications for Contemporary Organizational Management,” paper presented at the ICGBE International Conference 2013 (First Hotel, Bangkok, June 22-23rd, 2013).
Thailand and China have had a relationship for many centuries, initially as a result of Siam (now Thailand) joining the tributary system that permitted participation in the designated Chinese markets. The relationship has also taken place at an individual level as the result of untold thousands of Chinese migrants who have travelled to the south in search of a better life. On various occasions in history, the presence of Chinese migrants has provoked a discourse of conflict, in which the migrants were considered to present a ‘problem’ and, infamously, ‘the Jews of the East.’ National relations were halted during the Japanese invasion of China and then the Civil War that led to the Communist Revolution. Thailand’s presence in the American-led capitalist world prevented formal communications and this remained the case until the normalization of relations after the Open Door Policy was announced. During that period, many Chinese migrants and their family members were suspected of collusion with a potential Communist insurgency in Thailand and this encourage further integration into Thai society while, also, inhibiting the creation of a political party aiming to represent ethnic Chinese interests. Normalization of relations has been followed by rapid increase in trade and investment on a bilateral basis and the signing of various international agreements have deepened and broadened the forms of cooperation that have been possible. Chinese corporations have been accompanied by Confucius Institutes, which are non-governmental organizations promoting Chinese language teaching and cultural exchange. This paper explores the changing nature of Sino-Thai relations through history and uses this analysis to discuss the implications for organizational management in the present.
Keywords: China, historical relations, migration, organizational management, Thailand